Considering that the cinematic version of this story is one of my all-time favorite movies, it somewhat boggles me that I took this long to read the book! I love it!!! William Goldman's prologue and his little asides are great!
This is one of my favorite books ever! I have seen the movie version too many times to count but the book is just as good if not better. I especially like the description of the "Pit of Despair" from the book. If you have enjoyed the movie version this book is a "must read".
When I first read this, I was under the impression that this really was an abridgment, that there was an S Morgenstern and perhaps even a Florin or Guilder at some point in history. I was annoyed by the author commentary initially...thinking "just get on with the story...you're ruining it." Reading it again with the knowledge that S Morgenstern is one of William Goldmans pen names, his father never read it to him because it never existed, and all the snide asides he made throughout the book were not to belittle the original author but rather add to the comedy and satire...I'm glad it was left in! The asides are proof that writers have wayyyy too much time on their hands, but it was so creatively and convincingly done that many people (myself not excluded) finish the book believing every word about the history of Florin and "the original text". The Princess Bride is a very clever little book...it makes mention that it's for children, but I don't buy that. Better than the movie of course, but the movie is surprisingly faithful...there were only a few bits in the book that didn't make the movie that I missed. This book is a good little bit of escapism...the author is a self indulgent but brilliant man. Highest recommendations to anyone looking for lighter fare and a good laugh.
While I did not find the book a dismal failure, I did find reading it tedius. Could Goldman not just tell the story instead of including his own snide remarks? Also, I found that the pace of the story and lack of attention to detail disturbing. Perhaps I was spoiled by the movie (which I found to be far superior to the book).
For the time period this was written in, this is an astounding work of comeic genius. The humor used is more like today's - no wonder Morgenstern never got much fame out of this book. But heck - sword fights, true love, the dead coming back to life - this book has it all. The movie pretty much stayed true to the book, and the book was awesome, if you didn't already grasp that from my previous sentences. I LOVE THIS BOOK, even if the ending was a bit disappointing.
I enjoyed this book. It feels like a "children's book for grown-ups," just like the movies The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. That is, the story is framed as a fairy or fantasy tale, but the humor is adult. I prefer the book to the movie.
Okay so lets be honest, I read this book because I love the movie.
I must admit that I do not like the book as much as the movie. However there are a number of very interesting things in the book.
First, the bad, I found the sections that were not related to the story, you know where the grandfather is reading in the movie, very slow. The screenplay also changed the narrator in the movie. However, the thing I am most disappointed with, is that Buttercup is totally unbearable on paper...even more sappy than in the movie. I literally wanted to throw the book against the wall when she spoke, which is not often. For a book about her, there is very little with her in it.
Okay onto the fun stuff...the narrator in the book is William Goldman, the author, screenplay writer. It is a running dialog of his thoughts related to the book he is compressing. You get a little bit about his family (not sure if this is true) and a little bit about his job (I looked this up and it was confirmed, so when he talks about Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, well, it is because he wrote it!)
I liked the back story on Fezzik and Inigo, they are after all in my opinion, what makes the story so good.
Here is what I am not sure about...my particular copy of this book has an additional chapter (maybe) called Buttercup's Baby. I really liked the story, could not stand his constant breaking in because it made the last 40 pages much longer than they needed to be...but it gives you a bit of insight into what does happen after "happily ever after"
All in all it was a fun read, I would not call it quick but if you love the movie you will definitely get some more depth from reading the book.
It was a sweet little story well suited to read to a child or simply enjoy by yourself. If you saw the movie, the book has very little extra, except it does have a pretty great pair of introductions, one by the author. It includes the bonus chapter of an unwritten sequel, Buttercup's Baby.
For once the book and the movie are on equal footing
I absolutely LOVED reading this book....
Goldman claims took out the "dry" and "boring stuff" that Morgenstern had in his book. Which basically means all the satire on Florin is gone (the stuff that the Florin history buffs love). Of course, now I want to go hunt up his enormous book and read it for myself (even though this "unabridged" book doesn't exist ... I know, I tried finding it!), even though apparently Morgenstern wasn't concerned about the material that makes up the hilarious "good parts" version. The book is just as quotable as the movie. ...It really is a must read.
Goldman's "abridgement" style is wonderful. He tells you what he is cutting out and why, and then tells the story in Morgenstern's actual words. Well, that's what he wants you to think ... I think it's just part of Goldman's style to say he edited a book to allow for some of the "lapses" - but that doesn't change the fact that I think this is a great book! And the lapses fit the style of the book very well -creative writing in fine form.
Read the book...Enjoy life. Unlike Westley you probably only have one to live.
Definitely one of my favorite books, though William Goldman could have cut back on all the dialogue he added in. He also should have, in my opinion, left in some of the history that he took out. It would be very interesting to know a little about all the places you go throughout the book.
For anyone who has seen Christopher Guest's "mocumentaries" (This is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, and A Mighty Wind) and loved them, then this book is definitely for you. Goldman takes a joke and runs with it throughout the entire novel, and does so with a completely straight face. For starters, there is no S. Morgenstern (he was made up by Goldman) and there is no "original and unabridged" version of The Princess Bride. This book is the only version that has ever existed. In fact, Goldman makes up most of his own personal life as well (he has two daughters in real life, and no sons) to the point where you really have no idea what is true and what is completely made up.
As a stand-alone fairy tale, the story itself is actually pretty weak. There is surprisingly little character development and the plot is absurdly simple. The author's prolific comments and interjections, were they true, would ruin the flow of any other narrative. But when those two elements are combined, you are left with a fantastic compilation of satire and humor.
Fortunately, I learned that this book was written in a "mocumentary" style prior to reading it and was therefore able to enjoy it for what it really was: a story that, for no reason whatsoever, should ever be taken seriously. Had I taken this book at face value, it would have irritated me to no end and I'm pretty sure that I would have hated it. The fairy tale part of the book follows the movie almost exactly, but it is the element of "everything else" that makes this book truly unique and a very enjoyable read.
A 30 year old guy checking in. I am a HUGE fan of the movie, and a big reader- so I figured I'd read the book my favorite movie was based on... I am sorry- It really annoyed me throughout the whole book. There seemed to be a lot of content that was left out of the movie for a reason, and I think that reason was good.